NEWS

Government, main opposition clash over secret tapes, minister

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The government and the main opposition continued to exchange recriminations over an illicitly recorded conversation between a Greek-Israeli businessman and a former SYRIZA minister over an investigation involving the former, as well as controversial comments on the developing case by Development Minister Adonis Georgiadis.

Government spokesman Stelios Petsas on Thursday reiterated his call on SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras to dismiss Nikos Pappas, a close associate of the former premier and former minister of state, who is heard in an audio tape discussing the former alternate justice minister Dimitris Papangelopoulos who allegedly had his “own agenda” and was “making a lot of money” from backroom deals.

“Three days after the revelations that refer to an illegal judicial network and rogue elements during the days of the SYRIZA administration [Mr. Tsipras] still pretends that he did not hear or see anything,” Petsas said.

On its side, SYRIZA blasted Georgiadis for telling a television panel on Wednesday that corruption prosecutor Eleni Touloupaki, who was investigating the possible involvement of politicians in the Novartis bribery scandal, should “go to jail” for pressing charges against PASOK’s former health minister Andreas Loverdos as part of the probe.

The government sought to distance itself from the comment, with Petsas saying in a regular press briefing on Thursday that Georgiadis “was not commenting as a government minister, but as a regular citizen. He expressed personal indignation at the fact that his case remains unresolved for years.”

In a sharp retort, SYRIZA said that if Georgiadis wants to comment as a “regular citizen”, he should leave his official post.

“As long as he remains a minister, Mr. Georgiadis expresses the entire government of Mr. Mitsotakis and is shielded by him for his brutal and vulgar intervention in Justice, since he threatened to imprison the corruption prosecutor for daring to investigate him over the Novartis scandal,” the party said.